United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
JOE B. BROWN, Magistrate Judge.
To: The Honorable Senior Judge William J. Haynes, Jr., United States District Judge.
Before the court is Plaintiff's motion for injunctive relief filed on February 9, 2015 (Doc. 9). For the reasons explained below, the Magistrate Judge RECOMMENDS that Plaintiff's motion (Doc. 9) be DENIED.
I. INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
Plaintiff, proceeding pro se and in forma pauperis, is a prisoner of the state of Tennessee and is confined at Metro-Davidson County Detention Facility. (Doc. 1) He filed his complaint on December 1, 2014. (Doc. 1)
This action was referred to the Magistrate Judge on January 12, 2015 "for the management of the case, to dispose or recommend disposition of any pretrial motions under 28 U.S.C. §§ 636(b)(1)(A) and (B), and to conduct further proceedings, if necessary, under Rule 72(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Local Rules of Court." (Doc. 4)
Plaintiff filed the instant motion for injunctive relief on February 9, 2015 seeking to end any type of contact or communication between Plaintiff and Defendant. Plaintiff alleges that Defendant has engaged in retaliatory acts, including: 1) enlisting other inmates and Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) employees to encourage Plaintiff to drop complaints; 2) orchestrating "bogus" cell searches; and 3) filing false disciplinary reports, which resulted in Plaintiff being restricted from telephone usage. (Doc. 9) Plaintiff asserts that the alleged actions have been made in response to Plaintiff filing grievances and this pending lawsuit.
Defendant filed a response in opposition to Plaintiff's motion on March 13, 2015. (Doc 21) During a teleconference on March 23, 2015, Plaintiff advised the Court that he had filed a reply. (Doc. 27) The Court reasons that Plaintiff's Declaration received on March 24, 2015 is the reply to which Plaintiff referred. (Doc. 26)
II. STANDARD OF REVIEW
In deciding a motion for a preliminary injunction, the district court considers: 1) whether the movant has a strong likelihood of success on the merits; 2) whether the movant would suffer irreparable injury without the injunction; 3) whether issuance of the injunction would cause substantial harm to others; and 4) whether the public interest would be served by issuance of the injunction. City of Pontiac Retired Employees Ass'n v. Schimmel, 751 F.3d 427, 420 (6th Cir. 2014)(internal citations and quotation marks omitted).
While none of the four factors enumerated above generally has controlling weight, injunctive relief may not issue where there is no likelihood of success on the merits. See Farnsworth v. Nationstar Mortg., LLC, 569 Fed.Appx. 421, 426 (6th Cir. 2014)(internal citation omitted). In order to establish a likelihood of success on the merits, a plaintiff must show more than a mere possibility of success in his substantive claims. Becton v. Thomas, 48 F.Supp.2d 747, 753-54 (W.D. Tenn. 1999)(citing Six Clinics Holding Corp., II v. Cafcomp Systems, Inc., 119 F.3d 393, 402 (6th Cir. 1997)). The varying language applied to the likelihood of success factor can best be reconciled by recognizing that the four considerations applicable to preliminary injunction decisions are factors to be balanced, not prerequisites that must be met. Accordingly, the degree of likelihood of success required may depend on the strength of the other factors. In re DeLorean Motor Co., 755 F.2d 1223, 1229 (6th Cir. 1985).
The party seeking injunctive relief bears the burden of justifying such relief. Kentucky v. U.S. ex rel. Hagel, 759 F.3d 588 (6th Cir. 2014)(internal citations and quotation marks omitted). The proof required for injunctive relief is more stringent than the proof required to survive summary judgment. McNeilly v. Land, 684 F.3d 611, 615 (6th Cir. 2012)(internal citation and quotation marks omitted).
A. First Amendment ...